Want to be part of NOME? The start-up competition has begun

Getting access to mentors is a great way for life science start-ups to go from idea to commercialization. Biotech company Cellevate benefitted from being part of NOME and found that the potential applications of their solution are much more far-reaching. Now you can apply for the NOME start-up competition and become part of NOME, too.

The goal is to provide life science researchers with more realistic in vitro models, providing more relevant data for successful research. That’s why Cellevate was brought into this world.

NOME alumnus and start-up competition participant Cellevate is a Lund based biotech company, that develops the next generation cell culture systems. The start-up creates highly porous and consistent networks of nanofibers through a patented manufacturing process.

Mentors are a great way to avoid pitfalls

In 2016, they were accepted into the SmiLe incubator. The following year, they obtained the Eurostars consortium approval and were accepted into NOME, the Nordic Mentor Network for Entrepreneurship after having participated in the NOME Start-up Competition.

“Being a small company spun out from a University setting we, like many other startups, initially had a very limited experience from taking an idea to market and actually commercializing it. Getting access to high-level mentors is a great way to avoid some of the many potential pitfalls associated with this journey, and the NOME network has an extremely impressive track record. This was definitely the driving factor for us to apply”, says CEO Maximillian Ottosson.

Together with his five co-founders, Maximillian Ottosson founded Cellevate. In contrast to the traditional monolayer cultures seen on 2D surfaces, cells in Cellevate’s networks are allowed to proliferate and interact with other cells in three dimensions.

Commercialization is key

NOME’s vision is to position the Nordic countries as one of the leading life science regions. One of the challenges that Cellevate wanted to address together with NOME was market acceptance and commercialization strategies. Cellevate started commercialization of their technology based on the applications in the life science field. But they found that the potential applications are much more far reaching. Therefore, the company now has plans to expand into other areas as part of their growth strategy.

Being part of NOME also means getting the chance to participate in a US trip, something NOME organizes 1-2 times a year together with the US program manager who has strong ties to the life science ecosystem in the Research Triangle in North Carolina. This year, Cellevate was one of the four companies that went to Boston and North Carolina in June.

“For us, the camp was essential to understanding fundamental market differences between the US and Europe. It vastly facilitated a possible market entry to the US as we got introduced to great connections. This is true for both our attendance at the partnering conference BIO but especially for the camp in North Carolina. I want to emphasize that the US mentors we engaged with in the research triangle in North Carolina had a stunning level of both experience and skills. Besides mentoring, they also introduced us to key stakeholders and we received great feedback about the market and on financial topics. We got a lot out of this trip!”, says Maximilian Ottosson.

Do you want to take part in this year’s competition?

Right now, NOME is accepting applications for the start-up competition. If you have what it takes to be part of the network, send in your application now. Deadline is the 15th of September. Only the nine most interesting proposals will be selected for presentation at the annual meeting.

“It was a great experience meeting and talking both to the jury and the other companies present,” says Maximillian Ottosson about pitching in front of the jury at the annual meeting last year.

And the Cellevate CEO has a tip for anyone wanting to try their hands on the opportunity:

“Work through your pitch deck thoroughly and get input from people you trust! Also, practice is key to a good pitch performance,” Maximillian Ottosson says.

Save the date!

October 24, 2018, 15:30-21:00


Maersk Tower, Copenhagen

Read more here:

NOME Start-up Competition